Get ready, get set, get lost!
Leaving downtown Saranac Lake heading west on Route 86, it’s straight and scenic driving for 8 miles. The only tough part is keeping your eyes on the road because the views are so darn good. After Moody Tree Farm, on your right, yet before the Brighton Mini Mart, on your left, turn onto Hobart Road in Gabriels. Continue down the road until you see the corn maze sign on your right. This is where you turn in and park.
The Great Adirondack Corn Maze is open August 1 to October 31, Thursday through Sunday, from noon to dusk. There are also special flashlight nights on Friday and Saturday, from dusk to 10 p.m., for those up for an added challenge. The maze is $10 for adults and unaccompanied children, less for kids with adults, and free for kids under 4. Make note, they do not accept cards — it's cash or check only.
Each year the maze is a different intricate design. The 2017 theme is "Charlie Brown and the Peanuts Gang." Just next to the entrance of the maze there is a barn, and inside aerial photos of past years line the walls. It is encouraged that before entering the maze you take a minute and study the current year’s aerial photo — in hopes that it helps!
Upon exiting the barn you will be given a game board, which is a piece of paper, and an explanation about the game component of the maze. There are eight hidden mailboxes, and in each mailbox there is a small piece of paper. With the scotch tape that is tucked into each mailbox, tape it to your game board. The object is to locate all eight mailboxes, affix all eight pieces to your game board, and you will have a complete map of the corn maze. Use the map to then find your way out.
Ah - MAZE - ing
And we’re off! Just like that we were let loose in the 8-acre labyrinth. The corn stalks were 6-feet high, thick and lush, and impossible to see through. About 10 steps in, faced with our first big left or right decision, we knew we had to have a plan.
The strategizing began. Do we follow the random mouse method, where we simply proceed in a straight line until an obstruction is reached, and then make a random decision about which way to go? Or do we follow the right-hand rule and keep one hand in contact with one wall at all time? In our case, we started off methodically but succumbed to the temptation of following our gut. “Wait, haven’t we been past here before?” “Stop, we have to go left here — last time we went right!” My husband, who is a forester and walks in the woods for a living, did no better than my 3-year-old, who was singing and dancing through the corn.
The three things we learned:
1. The maze is fun for all ages
2. The maze is challenging for all ages
3. The sun sets at 6:45 p.m.
After an hour and a half in the maze — we found the eight pieces and made our way out — just before sunset!
Love your local farmer
The Great Adirondack Corn Maze simply wouldn’t be without the Tuckers. And if you visit the corn maze, you will surely meet one of them! They continuously up the ante, making each year's maze more challenging than the one before. Over the past 10 plus years they have fine-tuned their maze-making ability.
In addition to the corn maze, Tucker Farms Inc. is a family-owned and operated potato farm. The 1,600 foot elevation, climate, relative isolation, and the right soil conditions make it the ideal spot for growing top-notch potatoes. Award-winning, even! While you are in town stop by Blue Moon Cafe and enjoy some fresh potatoes with your meal, or grab some to go from Nori’s.
The farm is also host to events, from birthday parties to weddings. The location is gorgeous, with a unique combination of sweeping farmland set against a mountain backdrop. It is a picturesque spot, so on any occasion be sure to bring your camera!
This week in related ADK news: